Over 80 Muslim Organizations Urge the Justice Department to Investigate a Terrorism-Research Group

Feb. 10 2022

On January 31, a letter signed by more than 80 American Muslim organizations was sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The letter alleges that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a nonprofit founded by Steve Emerson in 1995, has launched a coordinated effort to infiltrate and spy on the U.S. Muslim community; the letter repeatedly refers to IPT as a “hate group.”

In December, CAIR’s Ohio chapter fired its director, Romin Iqbal, who had admitted to providing information to the IPT. A month later, CAIR also accused Tariq Nelson of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, one of the DC region’s largest mosques, of being an informant for IPT.

Much of the reporting on this story has omitted CAIR’s troubling history; among other things, prominent CAIR members have been convicted of terrorism-related charges, and in 2014 CAIR was designated as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates. In his reporting on the issue, A.J. Caschetta lists these and other common oversights in media coverage of CAIR’s accusations:

[The Washington Post reporters Michelle Boorstein and Hannah Allam] fail to mention important facts about CAIR, such as that the FBI cut off all relations with CAIR in 2009 because of its Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas connections, and that the Department of Justice reprimanded several FBI field offices in 2013 for failing to do so. Instead they simply refer to CAIR as “the nation’s biggest Muslim civil-rights group,” while quoting a CAIR spokesman identifying the IPT as a “dangerous . . . Islamophobic group.”

Worse still, Boorstein and Allam refer uncritically to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center simply as “one of the DC region’s largest mosques.” . . . The Dar Al-Hijrah Center and mosque in Falls Church, Virginia have a long and storied history of terrorist-related activity. Built in 1991 with Saudi money through the North American Islamic Trust, the deed to the property was signed by Jamal al-Barzinji, of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The center’s founder was Ismail Elbarasse, a Muslim Brotherhood big-shot who had in his possession the infamous 1991 memo documenting the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to wage “civilizational jihad” against the U.S.

The Dar Al-Hijrah mosque has also had a series of radical preachers leading Friday prayers. Anwar al-Awlaki, the imam in charge during the 9/11 era, was found to have aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers and to have recruited for al-Qaeda.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at National Review

More about: American Muslims, CAIR, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia